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ANC Youth League Describes Opposition Leader’s Remark as Racist Ahead of Election

The youth wing of South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) described opposition leader Helen Zille of the Democratic Alliance as a racist for remark this week that South Africa would become a failed state if the ANC maintains its two-thirds majority in the April 22 general elections. She said an overwhelming win for the ruling party would mean the country will lose the opportunity of holding accountable those who abuse power. But the ANC youth league dismissed the opposition leader's criticism saying ordinary South African know the ruling party is addressing their concerns.

Vuyiswa Tulelo is the general secretary of the ANC Youth League. She tells reporter Peter Clottey that the ruling party will win more than two-thirds majority in the upcoming elections.

"It does prove again to the population of South Africa that Miss Helen Zille remains an absolute racist to the core. The city that she is in charge of has not moved a single inch up in the lives of African people. Now, precisely because the ANC is going to ensure that development reaches the black and African majority and that is why she says sentiments like this," Tulelo pointed out.

She described as unfortunate the opposition leader's comments about the ruling party rather than focusing on her campaign ahead of the election.

"But I must also applaud her (Helen Zille) for spending so much time focusing on the ANC other than campaigning on what her party will do for the people of South Africa because she puts more mileage on the ANC than what her policies are. But again it shows that you can take a person out of the bush, but you cannot take the bush out of the person as they say, and leopard never changes its spots. Miss Zille remains an adamant racist who only defends the rights of those minorities who have been at this for the past three hundred years," she said.

Tulelo said the opposition leader's remark underscores her assertion that the blacks are not capable of handling their own affairs.

"What is obvious about saying that when the ANC is going to take charge, South Africa is going to become a failed state? It tells you that the black man can never rule. The thinking of this person says to you the only person who has got the capacity and ability and opportunity to rule is the white person. But should you dare because in this instance we are talking about a truly ordinary rural boy (Jacob Zuma), the ruler of the ANC, a person who has had his education from the experiences in the lives of our people and not through a text book. Now, that says to you those experiences do not count, you must come from Oxford or Cambridge or you must at least be white in order for you to rule South Africa," Tulelo noted.

She expressed confidence that the ruling party would maintain its two-thirds majority in South Africa's parliament after this month's election.

"I will tell you this that I have spent the past three months on the road and the people who have now come out in defense of the ANC have reassured us the ANC will get more than the two-thirds. Because they have come to the appreciation that the leadership of the ANC as currently in office not only pays lip service to their issues, but it actually feels their pain. So, people have just decided that whatever happens, they will defend the ANC and they will ensure that it gets more than the two thirds majority," she said.

Tulelo said ANC presidential candidate once president would demonstrate the true nature of somebody who has learned from the ordinary people and who would ensure that the needs of the ordinary South African are promptly addressed.

"The kind of president that the people of South Africa have been yearning for for the past 15 years who is the man of the people and a servant of the people. One who knows what it feels like to go to bed without food and one who knows how it feels like to grow up in the rural area that does not have electricity," Tulelo pointed out.

Some political observers believe that although the ruling party will face stiff challenges from the opposition parties, including the breakaway Congress of the People (COPE) and the DA, the ANC will maintain its two-thirds majority in parliament.

Because of the overwhelming support the ANC enjoys among ordinary South African's the ruling party's presidential candidate Jacob Zuma is expected to be elected as South Africa's next president after the April 22 general elections.

The ANC received a significant boost ahead of the upcoming elections after graft charges against Jacob Zuma were dropped by the National Prosecuting Authority. The move infuriated the opposition who vowed to seek legal council on their next line of action against the ANC leader.

But supporters of the ANC leader maintain that the eight year old graft charges against him were politically motivated to prevent him from becoming South Africa's next president. Zuma said he feels vindicated after prosecutors dropped corruption charges against him and vowed to focus on leading South Africa to astronomical heights.

He added that the graft battle that had dragged on for the last eight years was political and manipulative, contending that suggestions that a cloud would hang over him because the case was dismissed on a technicality was a media fiction.